On the 10th of May, a media publication BusinessInsider published an article, in which Jeff Bezos describes his vision of future. A vision where enormous amounts of people live in space colonies on Earth’s orbit. There will be everything one might need to live, including high-speed transport & areas for agriculture. The billionaire expressed these ideas at the presentation of Blue Origin‘s latest lunar module in Washington, DC.
The similarity between the vision Jeff Bezos presented & the ideas expressed by Anatoly Yunitski in his open letter to Jeff Bezos did not go unnoticed by numerous media outlets that published articles on the subject. Amongst others: National Interests, Technocult, Imenno, Information Portal of Crimea.
A few days ago, presentation of a model of the Blue Moon, a multi-purpose space module designed for operation on the Moon, was held in Washington with fanfare. It was conducted by its founder and owner of Amazon and Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos. During his speech, the famous American entrepreneur and billionaire expressed a number of bold ideas – colonization of near-Earth orbit, industrialization of near space, high-speed futuristic transport that will service all of this huge infrastructure. It sounds really great. Honor and praise to the author? Only there is a big “but”. All this is painfully similar to the projects of the Belarusian engineer and inventor Anatoli Yunitski, author of the concept of SkyWay transport and SpaceWay project. And Bezos was well aware of this.
The portal Businessinsider cites billionaire’s words. Jeff Bezos claims he plans to settle in space up to a trillion people with O’Neal colonies – rotating cylinders designed to reproduce gravity, rotate around the Earth and maintain human life.
Bezos says these colonies will have a high-speed transport, agricultural areas and cities. Some of them will be intended exclusively for recreation. Gravity at the objects will be different, and it will be even possible to fly with the help of artificial wings in some of them. Extraterrestrial colonies are to be built by descendants, as, according to Bezos, there are no required technologies on Earth yet.
The ideas that Mr. Bezos, with his characteristic pathos, presented as his own, are far from new. In the beginning of the last century, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky spoke about the spread of human intelligence in the Universe and cosmic optimism. And in 1988, the Belarusian engineer and inventor, member of the USSR Cosmonautics Federation Anatoli Yunitski developed the ideas of the famous Russian inventor in his publication “Non-rocket Space Industrialization: Problems, Ideas, Projects”. Then, he held the first International conference on non-rocket industrialization of space in the city of Gomel, substantiated the physical and technological conditions that determine a large-scale industrialization of space, with cargo flows of millions of tons per year and passenger flows of millions of people a year – that is, all that Jeff Bezos spoke about in a considerably less scientific manner and with a bias for populism. By the way, the latter accompanied his presentation with colorful slides, in the foreground of which there was an easily recognizable … SkyWay – a transport complex, the idea of which also belongs to engineer Yunitski, who has already built such tracks in Belarus and is testing them today.
Let’s suppose a possible, though an unlikely option – a coincidence. Two smart people came up with similar ideas, one earlier, the other later. After all, the American billionaire, the richest man of 2018, according to Forbes, could easily have been unaware of the ideas of the inventor from the former Soviet Union.
But he was aware. Back in December 2018, Anatoli Yunitski wrote an open letter addressed to Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, which was published in the spring edition of Room journal, a specialized English-language publication on space. The Belarusian inventor tells in it about the industrialization of space as the only way to prevent environmental catastrophe, and also talks about the need to use non-rocket, environmentally friendly technologies developed by him and published in All-Union journals “Inventor and Innovator” and “Technology for the Youth” back in 1982. In order to bring out all harmful production to the near-Earth orbit of our planet arranging it there ecologically clean based on fundamentally new technological resources – zero gravity, deep vacuum, use of practically free solar power.
In his presentation, Bezos decided to go further speaking about a “trillion of people” and entire cities. He proposes to transfer the whole human civilization into space. At the same time, the American businessman was clearly aware of Yunitski’s ideas and his open letter – such coincidences are impossible.
To clarify the situation, we contacted Anatoli Yunitski, who now holds the post of General designer at SkyWay Technologies Co. set up by him, and asked him to comment on the Washington presentation.
“Of course, it is pleasant that such a busy person as Mr. Bezos found the time to read my letter – and after his presentation there is no doubt that he has done it. Although he “has adopted” my concept of industrialization, his idea that people should live in space is questionable, to put it mildly. Man belongs to the Earth – he has here the ideal gravity, air, water, food, temperature, atmospheric pressure – this can be continued indefinitely. Space is destructive for people. We should talk about transferring into space production facilities, but not the entire civilization. Also, surprising are Bezos’s words about the absence of technologies necessary for space industrialization in the context that I wrote to him just about such technologies,” commented the Belarusian inventor.
We have also sent a letter to Jeff Bezos, in which he was directly asked about the extent to which his ideas were inspired by the works of the Belarusian engineer Yunitski. No reply has followed yet.
The idea of Anatoly Yunitski, which proposes the non-rocket space industrialization, was first published in 1982 in a magazine Technology for the Youth (in Russian). In 1995, the first edition of a book “String Transport Systems: On Earth & in Space“, in which Yunitski thoroughly elucidated his ideas, was published. This April, the third edition of Yunitski’s book was published in English & in Russian, the book may be bought from SkyWay’s webshop.
The idea of Jeff Bezos, which proposes the non-rocket space industrialization, was first published in 2019 in a media portal BusinessInsider (in English).